Recollections from one attendee

In response to the call for every councillor, past and present to give their account of what they knew and what they did regarding the CSE whilst in office I submit my account as follows:

I was originally elected as a labour councillor in May 2002 and resigned from the Labour Party in disgust around 2007/2008 and finished my term of office as an independent until May 2011.

I did attend a meeting on CSE, which I assume was the seminar in April 2005.

I think the seminar was about trying to change people’s perceptions by referring to the issue as Child Sexual Exploitation rather than the commonly held view that it was Child Prostitution. I believe that the total number of children at risk was given but not just from child sexual exploitation.

The seminar did talk about, amongst many other things such as alcohol and drugs, a number of young girls and two or three Asian taxi drivers and we were told that this issue was being dealt with by the police. I do remember them mentioning the need not to blow this up into a racial issue.

Elected Members are, quite rightly, not allowed to delve into individual’s case files and so they have to rely on the overview presented by officers. They most certainly cannot get involved in police inquiries. I recall saying something to the effect that I realise I am not allowed to know the particular details of any cases but could I have the officer’s assurance that this matter was being dealt with fully. I was assured that everything was in hand. As a layperson I have no alternative but to be guided by the professionals in these matters.

The briefing was very low key and presented the problem in a very different way to the situation revealed in Alexis Jay’s report. The information we were given at the seminar gave us no idea that the exploitation was so widespread and the treatment of the girls was so terrible.

Although the Jay report says at page 110 page 13.45 that an unambiguous and explicit presentation was made to the, all officer, Executive Group of the Rotherham Children and Young People’s Board at the end of 2004, I believe that by the time it was given at the seminar in April 2005 the contents must have been seriously watered down so that there was little resemblance to the one given in 2004 to the Executive Group. I believe that Prof Jay thought that the seminar in 2005 given to the 30 elected members was actually the same as the one given in 2004, but that was not the case.

At the 2005 seminar there was definitely no mention of the 50 members of an Asian family, 319 girl victims or the names and addresses of the hotels, takeaways or taxi firms that were involved in sexual activity as Professor Jay stated.

It appears that at the end of the 2005 seminar it was decided that ‘The presentation of this seminar should be made to the Youth cabinet, School Governing Bodies and the Magistrate’s Court’. The presentation that was given to The Executive Group in November 2004, with the explicit details it contained, would never have been sent to these groups.

Bearing in mind that there were senior councillors and officers tasked with dealing with these matters, when I left the seminar I cannot remember having any serious concerns that the issue was not being dealt with and therefore there was nothing more that I needed to do.

My record as a thorn in the side of senior Labour Councillors, even when I was in Labour Group but especially after I left, means that if I had felt from the seminar that someone was not doing their job or that the problems were remotely like those presented in the Jay report, I would most certainly never have let this rest. Why would I have?

From that time and until Andrew Norfolk’s article was published, I cannot remember the subject ever being discussed again in my presence. As far as I can work out, by the time these events came to light I had retired as a Councillor. Due to me being an independent councillor and not being friendly with most other councillors I did not socialise with them and so would not have picked up on any discussions they might have had about this matter.

When Andrew Norfolk’s article was published in the Times I was as shocked as everyone else and even more shocked when Alexis Jay’s report came out.

Because of the secretive way that the leader of the council organised the cabinet system in Rotherham, Backbench Councillors were told as little as possible, they had no power and no vote in the decisions that were made. As an independent councillor I was told even less. In addition I believe much of the reporting and recommended action required on this matter would have gone to the Safeguarding Children’s Board which is independent of the Council.

Although I didn’t know and wasn’t told, it could perhaps be said that I should have asked. The only problem with that is I didn’t know there was anything I needed to ask.

In view of the fact that I have been one of the greatest critics of the Council’s leadership, that there was also an opposition councillor present at the seminar and that the decision was made to make the same presentation to the Magistrates and School Governing Bodies, I find it difficult to understand how anyone can suggest that there was some kind of cover up by Councillors and that this briefing seminar meant those that were there knew all about the problems now exposed by Alexis Jay nearly ten years later.

When this situation has died down and the bloodletting has finished and the real culprits have been identified we all need to look to how we are to support these victims and repair the reputation of this Town.

There are serious problems to solve in this Town and we need serious and capable people to help solve them. The problem is that with all the collateral damage that will have been done to anyone remotely associated with this issue, I doubt there will be anyone left to help with the recovery.

Peter Thirlwall

Footnote

When writing my account I have tried to be as honest and truthful as possible but all the above has been a memory test of my recollection from nearly ten years ago and I would be surprised if I have scored 100% in the test.

I am surprised that anyone wishing to find out what was discussed at the seminar in 2005 didn’t do as I have done and simply obtain a copy of the presentation to see if it corroborates what is being said. Even better try to obtain the verbatim notes taken by the committee clerk at the seminar, which would show precisely what everyone knew and said.

I do not wish to criticise Professor Jay because the work that she has done has brought this scale of this whole issue to everyone’s attention. That does not mean however that her report is 100% factually correct, as I have pointed out above. Perhaps a little more ‘Due Diligence’ would not have gone amiss.

Since writing this report I have been sent a copy of the presentation (I believe in error) that was made to the, all officer, Executive group of the Children and Young People seminar in November 2004. It is in that presentation that the 319 victims are quoted together with the names and addresses of Taxi firms, Takeaways and Hotels as well as personal individual children’s case files and I was amazed by its contents and know if I had seen it before I would have remembered it. I can therefore say with complete confidence and certainty that a presentation of this type would never have been given to Backbench Elected Members let alone the School Governing Bodies and the Youth Cabinet. The details it contained would or should have formed part of a police investigation and would never have been allowed to be shared with all and sundry.

This situation cannot and will not be sorted out on a blog site. I have therefore asked to meet Louise Casey to pass on the information that I am aware of. I will not be answering any further questions on this blog but should anyone wishes to put any questions to me I am prepared to meet them face to face to answer them. Let’s hope I am not the only person prepared to account for themselves. Just because I am the only person to give my account please don’t exaggerate my status in this whole affair, I am but a bit player.

The following attached  .pdf file contains the sanitized version of the presentation that was given to the ‘All member Seminar’ in April 2005 that I have received from Rotherham Borough Council.

Click here to read/download the 2005 Seminar Presentation.pdf

This would appear to be the slides presented at the November 2004 seminar, and not the seminar Peter attended?

This is the first slide, Peter seems to have missed that little detail and would explain why both documents were provided to Peter, as they clearly show the difference between the slides and the delivered verbal information!

CSE Seminar 08_10_2014.

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Published previously: Risky Business called it right, that was too inconvenient for some!

47 thoughts on “Recollections from one attendee

  1. Thank you Peter for this detailed account of your knowledge of the SCE. It has a ring of truth about it. You are quite right that blogs on rothpol cannot resolve this huge issue. What it does though, is give people a platform to express their outrage and this can be a catalyst for proper action. I hope you will be remembered for this post and not your earlier comments. Your tenacity at calling the council to task is commendable…. In my view you have redeemed yourself.

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  2. I’ve also received this file in response to a chased-up FOI and I think there is a lot more still to come.

    I’m also somewhat mystified that you left a seminar which told you “BUT. Does this make enough of a difference. No. Etc….” and you say you had no serious concerns?

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  3. Why would Alexis Jay exaggerate in her report the content of the 2005 seminar, she actually says that a presentation was given by Risky Business the above piece of paper work means nothing. It was the words spoken by Risky Business that counts. None of what Peter Thirwall says is relevant to the case of Wright, Burton, Havenhand, Falvey and Tweed they were all at meetings where CSE was discussed in depth. I am sorry Peter but I do not buy into the excuse of a watered down version given to councillors, Alexis Jay had all the relevant documents and I still believe her point ” no one can say they did not know”.
    Dave Smith

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    • I fully support Peter in what he says in that the Jay Report could contain some exaggerations. Sentence removed for legal reasons, Rik. No one knows why these people come up with such mis-information but I can assure you they do!

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  4. Thanks for sharing your recollections Peter. I hope that it will help quell the bloodlust and that the various investigations and inspections are allowed to conclude and hopefully the real culprits will be brought to book. You make a valid point about the danger that there will be nobody left to help with the recovery. The sad fact is that there are some, those that I previously described as the mob (and I don’t include in that description any contributor to this blog who makes their identity known), who won’t care if there’s nobody left to help with the recovery.

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  5. The document that Peter Thirlwell has shared is obviously the powerpoint handout that would mirror the slides contained within the presentation. Those of us unfortunate enough to be subjected to powerpoint presentations on a regular basis will be familiar with the presenter saying, “There’s no need to take notes as here’s a handout”. Usually the handout is a pretty faithful representation of the information imparted.

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  6. Thanks to Peter for this contribution. The powerpoint mentions between 42 and 96 young people being referred because of concerns or being worked with by Risky Business (nb not described as victims) ,only a tiny handful of perpetrators and lots of assurances about action being taken. To be honest, if I had attended this and been warned that divulging the info might jeapordise prosecutions, I would have gone away concerned but reassured that something was being done. When, later on, 5 suspects are convicted I think my reaction might have been “job done”. Can any magistrates or school governors come forward and corroborate that this WAS the content? My instinct is to trust Peter that it was. If so, it raises more questions about who then did really know and when and what was done or not. We cant simply focus on this one seminar but on other events in the timeline, especially the 2004 seminar that preceded it. Why was the info in that seminar watered down? Why were most councillors seemingly kept in the dark? Where is the true sense of accountability to the majority of our elected representatives? We need a completely transparent enquiry. And I still believe we should have a complete re-election of the whole council to restore confidence that these questions are going to be answered, the whole truth is going to emerge and, most importantly, that everything is being done with utmost intent to eradicate the problem to protect future potential victims.

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  7. I , and I suspect many others, don’t really care about these internal squabblings related to Rotherham Council, be it elected officials or paid employees. The fact is that someone, or some group of individuals DID cover up the exploitation, and the fact remains that the South Yorkshire Police did virtually nothing. I would call this at the best incompetence, morally degenerate and dereliction of duty, and it seems fairly obvious to me that there was corruption at street level policing within Rotherham, maybe even at a higher level.

    The solutions are for the Home Office to dissolve the council as unfit and appoint outside administrators.
    An independent investigation into the South Yorkshire Police , I am certain, will uncover dereliction and possibly corruption. Sentence removed for legal reasons, Rik. I don’t think ignoring CSE has ever been a major cause of concern for them. I do not see a large number of prosecutions of perpetrators arising – for reasons that are fairly obvious . Like the Council, the South Yorkshire Police should be disbanded.

    The solutions are there – but no politician in this country has the tenacity to take the necessary actions.

    Rotherham is a rotten borough – and will continue to be so , since despite this scandal the polls show that a Labour Council will be re-elected. Maybe that’s why no one from outside gives a damn ?

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    • “it seems fairly obvious to me that there was corruption at street level policing within Rotherham, maybe even at a higher level.”
      Doesn’t Alexis Jay say in her report, “Some people we interviewed suspected that a small number of those with political authority in the Council had links to the perpetrators of CSE through taxi firms and other business or family interests”. That’s why the victims thought the perpetrators were untouchable!
      One of his small number has to be ex-Deputy Leader Akhtar! The present MP may get re-elected as this happened before she became the MP, but a lot of these Labour Councillors, if they are selected as candidates,and dare stand again next May, should be off the council! If they are still there after next May then this town deserves all it get!

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  8. Are you guilty of punishing or denouncing people for racism at the time this abuse took place?

    If you did, then you are guilty of creating the environment that made the scandal possible.

    I was not told, doesn’t cut it, if you are among the group that punished truth tellers.

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  9. “Since writing this report I have been sent a copy of the presentation (I believe in error) that was made to the, all officer, Executive group of the Children and Young People seminar in November 2004. It is in that presentation that the 319 victims are quoted together with the names and addresses of Taxi firms, Takeaways and Hotels as well as personal individual children’s case files and I was amazed by its contents and know if I had seen it before I would have remembered it. I can therefore say with complete confidence and certainty that a presentation of this type would never have been given to Backbench Elected Members let alone the School Governing Bodies and the Youth Cabinet. The details it contained would or should have formed part of a police investigation and would never have been allowed to be shared with all and sundry.”

    There is an alternative explanation for the document being provided to Peter?

    Maybe it was provided to inform Peter of the state of knowledge of the CSE problem that Risky Business had at that time, and presented to those at the 2005 seminar, no doubt, with redactions and simplifications as necessary to protect identities! It has already been established elsewhere, Risky Business seminars, were hard hitting and should have left audience members in no doubt as to the seriousness of the issues facing Rotherham.

    A warning perhaps? Not to proceed with a partial account of a seminar, Peter seems to have little personal recollection of.

    Ken Wyatt clearly had an altogether different appreciation of the significance of this seminar when he said, “We were told! But were were sworn to secrecy.”.

    No other participant at the April 2005 seminar, seems to want to avail themselves of the defence provided by Peter above. Essentially the, ‘they were ‘told nowt and there was nothing to concern us’ defence!

    This defence is sited, as the reason for him not asking any further questions as to progress on the CSE issue, using it as an excuse for his own inaction and inertia.

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  10. Well done Peter for giving us your version of events. It does beg a few questions though:

    Why, if the 2005 seminar was so thin on detail, has RMBC accepted the Jay report in full?
    Why has no-one else said they have doubts over the accuracy of the report?
    Have you, Peter, contacted the Home Secretary, HASC or any other authority to voice your concerns over the accuracy of the report?
    If not, why not?

    I don’t mean to call you a liar Peter, so please don’t take it that way. I’m just confused as to why no-one – not even those who have been forced to resign – have said anything which would suggest that Prof Jay got it even slightly wrong.

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    • Fact children have been abused in Rotherham. Fact people have got away with murder. The Jay report is problematic because the methodology is clearly non existent. I did post a link here from a cse expert in America who said as much. It wasnt put up. Kimber was right when he said that the report represents a base level of pointers for follow up. It will take a tremendous amount of work to turn that into actions. One consequence is that the media is reporting at best hearsay and very loose numbers from the report as facts. Tremendous damage has been done. I might have to eat my words, in my opinion there will very few prosecution actions coming out of the report.

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  11. Let us be very clear about what Peter Thirlwall reckons was the paper work from the 2005 seminar given to councillors, the sanitised version as he calls it. The version he is attempting to have us believe was the one presented at the seminar that he attended is in fact the version given at the November 2004 one, and in any case it is what was said that was important so wasn’t he listening? I would like to give him the benefit of him having a bad memory but I cant, he is deliberately trying to mislead the public into believing he knew nothing. If what he says is true there would have been a whole raft of councillors who attended the seminar trying to foist on us the same lie. They are not because they know it can be proven to be not true, sorry Peter mate but as my teacher used to say must do better and must try harder. Not one of you who was at the 2005 seminar can say with hand on their heart I did not know.
    Dave Smith

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    • I have no connection or allegiance to Peter Thirlwall but he’s given his account, which he didn’t need to do. I don’t understand why people are so keen to disbelieve him. Maybe the reason why there isn’t a “whole raft of councillors” giving you their recollection of events is that they know they would be ripped to shreds by the Rothpol dog pack! Peter says he obtained the powerpoint presentation by asking for it. If you think it is something other than what he purports it to be, why don’t you request a copy of the 2005 presentation and see what you get?

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    • Read the powerpoint Peter provided and then read what Jay says about info provided at both 2004 and 2005 seminars. The facts dont match. There is no way the two seminars were the same. It looks like Jay conflated the two in her narrative. However this raises the question of who really knew the big stuff. Labour backbenchers may not have known as much as Jay claims but they are still complicit in supporting a dictatorial, venal and unaccountable regime in RMBC. Ps Anon comment at 10.54 on 7th Oct above is mine.

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  12. Peter,
    Having got into a dialogue with you on this, just wanted to thank you for sharing your recollections. Interesting perspective.

    Your comments about “when this situation has died down and the bloodletting has finished and the real culprits have been identified we all need to look to how we are to support these victims and repair the reputation of this Town” and “there are serious problems to solve in this Town and we need serious and capable people to help solve them” are both positive.

    I’d be interested in views on how we do this, because the only game in town seems to be to kick out all the Labour councillors and elect UKIP – which is a scary prospect.

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      • The thought that some of these culpable, Labour councillors remaining on the council is more than scary, it’s terrifying! The present state of this town is evidence of Stone and his cronies’ incompetence: a run-down town that’s nearly half a billion in debt and the reputation as the town that turned a blind eye to the industrial scale of the sexual abuse of many of its children! But of course Stone and his cronies couldn’t devout too much time to the massive CSE that was occurring, they were far too busy flying round Europe to ensure thousands of the Roma managed to get to Rotherham and settle in with as few problems as possible!

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  13. R Wilde,
    I knew this was going to happen to me by being frank and forthright. I have done what no one else has done yet and given my version of the one event I have attended.
    I can’t speak for others and guess what their reasons and motives are. Perhaps they just can’t remember or can’t be bothered or perhaps they fear being treated like some on this blog treat me. You must ask them.
    When I made my post I was fully aware that the slides were entitled ‘The Executive Group for Children and Young People’ but that’s what I have been given as being presented to the 2005 seminar. I assume that the Officer just used the same slides but with different annotations. I can only tell you what I remember.
    If I had known that ten years after I had attended a seminar that I would have been questioned to the degree that I am being, I would have taped the seminar, but I didn’t.
    I hope you will understand that as a bit player in all of this that I cannot spend the rest of my life answering every question thrown up on this blog.
    As you will be aware I am no longer a Councillor and do not intend to stand for elected office again. I have done my best and other than committing suicide what more do you expect me to do?
    How fair does anyone on this blog think it is to expect an infinite amount more of me than other past or present Councillor? I feel I am being penalised for putting my head above the parapet.
    I apologise to Prof Jay for saying she had not mentioned 2004 Children’s Act. I have now found mention of it on page 134.
    I have however double checked the interviewee she said she had interviewed who told her he knew nothing about CSE and in fact, despite several attempts by him to speak to her she was unavailable. So she can be wrong.
    I will say it once more: If you have any questions for me I will be more than happy to meet with you. So, this applies to everyone on this blog, either arrange to meet me or stop asking me questions on this blog.
    If I had got my time to come again I would not have even tried to be helpful on this blog and if you sense that I am annoyed you would be right. At least you blog in your own name.

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    • Peter, your recent posts relating to the now infamous 2005 Seminar on Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham attended by approximately half of the Borough’s Councillors serving on the Council at that time, to be given a presentation by Risky Business on, shall we call it what it really is, namely child rape, sexual exploitation and traffiking for the purposes of child prostitution, raises several issues, particularly in your most recent post dated 8th October 2014.

      Firstly, you protest at length about your ‘treatment’ on this blog but who asked you to provide an account of the Seminar in the first place? It seems to me that you were the one who felt it necessary to ‘absolve’ yourself of ‘blame’ or is it someone else you are trying to provide a defence for (perhaps Cllr Sue Ellis?) in your account of your recollections of the 2005 Seminar at which you were both present. Why did you decide to do this as you state, in your own words that you were “but a bit player” although at the time, you were in fact attending as a Labour Councillor – hardly a ‘bit player’ as you along with your fellow Councillors needed to know what was going on in order to ask questions and start to tackle the issue, insisting on regular follow-up reports but instead you all remained silent, believing that the issue of CSE was being dealt with by someone else and that none of you needed to do anything thereafter and in fact, it appears that none of you did do anything but assist in its ‘cover up’! I’m sorry but I’m sure if Councillors were receiving a presentation on proposed cutting of their expenses, many questions would have been asked, and often and that this would have been pursued with vigour – funny that! Future events and your eventual ejection from Labour Group had absolutely nothing to do with this issue – as you yourself state that you felt there was nothing you needed to do on this issue at the end of the Seminar.

      As for “had I known that 10 years after I had attended a seminar that I would have been questioned to the degree that I am being, I would have taped the seminar, but I didn’t” sounds rather sarcastic and flippant to me – no-one expects you to tape a seminar but I’m sure your electorate would expect you to listen carefully and pay attention to the subject matter being presented – after all, this clearly was no ordinary ‘run of the mill’ seminar, its purpose was to inform RMBC Councillors and Officers what was really happening under their noses in Rotherham!

      Your comments mostly appear to be of you ‘bleating’ about how unfair the questions posed to you on this blog are but again, I would point out that it is you yourself that decided to post on the blog and in so doing, could expect to receive a variety of comments and responses to what you have written – otherwise, if you hadn’t made any posts on CSE and the 2005 Seminar, there wouldn’t be any comments to upset you, after all, you are the only one to have made themselves available to be questioned!

      There is, however, one point you make which greatly intrigues me – you state that you have “however, double checked the interviewee she” (Alexis Jay, my words) “said she had interviewed who told her he knew nothing about CSE and in fact, despite several attempts by him to speak to her she was unavailable. So she can be wrong”.
      Peter, what makes you say this? How did you “double check” the interviewee, is he known to you? Where did you get this information from? Am I to conclude that you know far more than you claim to know, as it certainly looks that way to me? Why do you invite people to meet with you face-to-face if, as you say, you don’t know anything – what could you possibly tell them? You do indicate in your post ‘footnote’ that you have received ‘privileged’ information from a Council source you do not identify and it seems this is clearly information that you should not be privy to. If I had received this information, I would be asking myself why I had received it and to what purpose.

      So, time to ‘come clean’, Peter?

      J.Pegg

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  14. Dave,
    As far as I’m aware there are no reports or slides entitled ‘Presentation to 2005 All Member Seminar ‘
    So let’s assume that the slides I have submitted entitled ‘The Executive Group for Children and Young People’s Services. Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham’ were not presented to the 2005 seminar, then all you are left with is my recollections, until such time as you produce the presentation you think we received or further responses from others attending the seminar.
    When Prof Jay interviewed the relevant Officer for her report I can understand that the Officer would try not to let it look like she was covering anything up and would feel more comfortable if it was thought that she had shared all she knew with everyone else. But she didn’t and because of the nature of that information I can understand why she didn’t.
    Please read my recollections again and I am sure you will see that there is a string of logic in what I am saying.
    Now read your comments and you will see that there is no logic to it.
    I know many on this blog have old scores to settle or wish to make political profit out of this whole affair, I know you have a down on Burton, Havenhand, Falvey and Tweed and I am not saying that they were not told things at other meetings, but not at the 2005 seminar. I have no desire to protect them, that is for them to do themselves.
    I am sure you will agree that the lynch mob have tried to hang several people already base solely on the 2005 seminar so it would be extremely difficult for them to accept what I am saying without feeling guilty themselves.
    Ask yourself this Dave: Why would I lie to protect a bunch of people I have despised for years.

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  15. To J Pegg

    I among others asked Peter and those present at the 2005 seminar to explain what went on and I am grateful he has – I thank him for that he did not have to reply to me.

    I too, in my many roles, have attended such seminars over years and the one Peter details appears to be a standard ‘generic awareness’ of CSE event, rather than a specific event aimed at the issue we now have before us, namely the CSE Scandal Reading the information provided it appears to be more centred on training than specific information.

    Thank you Peter for your post it is appreciated here by me at least.

    SKT xxxx

    SKT xxxx

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  16. The old ways never leave you do they Peter, because I want to get (Hold to account, Rik) the councillors who were responsible for the cover up I have to have downer on them or I am trying to score political points; sorry mate it wont wash. Alexis Jay makes it very clear on what information was given to you and the rest at the seminar, so I suggest what you do is read page 110 of her report sections !344, 1345 and 1346, then it may all come back to you. As lovedinnington said he got the same paper work when he put in an FOI, They wouldn’t give him or you the full transcript of the meeting, as for recording it perhaps you should have taken notes.
    Dave Smith

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  17. J Pegg, I will be unavailable for a short period after today so this could be my last post for a while, but the answers to your questions, since you have not bothered to read the other posts, are as follows:
    (Q1) Who asked : Sally Kate Taylor (Thanks for confirming that Sally)
    (Q2) Councillors expenses: I was the only councillor to campaign by petition in Rotherham Town Centre for councillors not to take any increase in expenses and when the petition failed I gave my increase to the Rotherham Hospice.
    (Q3) Taped seminar: I said I ought to have taped the seminar so people like you couldn’t call me a liar ten years later.
    (Q4) Interviewee: I just happen to know one of the interviewees and could identify him from his position quoted in the Jay report so I simply asked him.
    (Q5) Run of the mill seminar: Yes it was a standard type of seminar the councillors received regularly on the same Tuesday as Labour Group each month. For your information, and this was not for my benefit, working councillors would not have been allowed a day off work to attend a political meeting so council seminars, which they could claim a day off work for, were called at 9 am on Tuesday morning before the Labour Group starting at 10 am. Although I used to try and attend them all many councillors would have turned up early for Labour Group and come in the Council Chamber towards the end of the seminar and received a tick for attending.
    (Q6) The reason I have offered to meet people face to face is so I can answer stupid questions without constantly have to type out posts.
    On this occasion I am going to refrain from reproaching you for your ignorance but should you attack me as viciously as this again without checking some of your facts first I may not be able to hold myself back in the future.

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  18. Peter why are you posting notes from a officer only meeting with no attendance names
    When people are asking for what was said to Councillors who attended the 2005 seminar mentioned in the Jay report and why did you all keep quiet
    All except one
    This is a smoke screen to try and divert attention from your mate Cllr Sue Ellis who has admitted knowing what went on at the 2005 Seminar.

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  19. In answer to my question on CSE to a cabinet meeting a couple of months ago Wyatt who also attended the 2005 seminar admitted that he knew what was happening in Rotherham from the information provided; strange how Peter did not.
    Dave Smith

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  20. “working councillors would not have been allowed a day off work to attend a political meeting so council seminars, which they could claim a day off work for, were called at 9 am on Tuesday morning before the Labour Group starting at 10 am.”

    “many councillors would have turned up early for Labour Group and come in the Council Chamber towards the end of the seminar and received a tick for attending”

    Letting the mask slip a bit there?.

    Expect some employers of current Councillors, will be interested in this revelation?

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  21. Labour member just
    Employers are legally obliged to give time off for public duties
    So that don’t wash either plus most on the seminar was not working
    Anyway they had sorted a good redundancy package
    And nice pension
    So don’t try the smoke scream tactics if they were their
    They were their
    That’s recorded
    So stop trying to insult peoples intelegence

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  22. Caven, you know that the entitlement to time off for public duties is for “reasonable” time off not unlimited time off. There is no right to be paid for time off. How come you couldn’t be at the seminar because you were on business in Amsterdam? Didn’t the right to time off apply to you?

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  23. Robin
    Who said owt about being paid. For attending council meetings that’s what we get an allowance for
    But I forgot you union men want best of both worlds paid for doing nowt
    And I wasn’t in Amsterdam I was in Hengalow managing a project which earned about 1.7 million to a British company employing British workers on well above the minimum wage paying taxes to the British Government which in directly paid your civil servant Unison members wages who through there subs paid you to spend all day spouting off on the computer
    So I would have thought even you would have preferred me to help keep you and your members gainfully employed or maybe you would have me sat on my arse in a seminar.
    But I forgot Robin I’m in the real world

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    • Funnily enough I prefer my elected councillors to represent me; you know the job they are elected to do. I’m so glad you’re not my councillor. You really ought to learn how to conduct yourself; the way you resort to insulting members of the electorate is unbecoming of someone in public office. It was you that said you were in Amsterdam and it was you that said you were there out of economic necessity (well, you didn’t use those exact words) as your councillors’ allowance wouldn’t have paid your mortgage. Don’t you wish you were “sat on your arse” in that particular seminar now we know how significant it was and how you would no doubt have not rested until you had insisted that the police arrested every perpetrator of CSE?

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  24. On a further note Robin check my attendance record on council meetings and you will see I got plenty of time off to do my councillor duties it’s called being professional and time management and making time up by working long unsocial hours. Without bleating on

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    • Of course I don’t represent you. I represent people who pay subs to the union. You however, are supposed to be the leader of the opposition and therefore you should represent ALL Rotherham residents, not just UKIP supporters. With such contempt for Rotherham residents who don’t share your political views you aren’t only out of your depth but also not fit to hold the position you do.

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    • That just shows your naivety (I’m being kind there). You are the leader of the opposition and you obviously don’t understand the responsibility that brings.

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    • To be fair Caven, Jahangir Ahktar used to “tweet” in a private capacity when he was a councillor, and that didn’t wash because he was always tweeting about council or Labour party matters. You are a local councillor commenting on a blog dedicated to local politics, it’s hard to separate the two. If it were a blog about any other subject, say, the art of fly fishing then fine, I could accept you were commenting as an ordinary member of the public. But it’s not, it’s about local politics, and your position on the council can’t be ignored. Plus you have posted plenty of comments about your time on the council, so how can you claim to be speaking as a member of the public? Please don’t take this as an attack, more like constructive criticism. All I’m saying is don’t start acting like the Labour lot.

      Further to that, I wish more councillors would follow your example and comment on here. It could be a great way for allowing the Public to debate with them when they cannot get to the meetings and without the time constraints that the meetings have for public questions. But I get the feeling that Labour councillors don’t like debating with the public, so I’m not holding my breath.

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  25. There is a sentence on slide 7 (page 3): “This is a national and regional problem.” I seem to remember this sentence being used by previous PCC and head of Children’s Services. Can anyone confirm this and let me know where I could find a transcript or other written record?

    Peter Heath, Tampere, Finland
    ex-Herringthorpe Valley Road.

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